Monday, January 03, 2011

FDR and The March of Dimes

The March of Dimes was established on this day in 1938, during the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and was named by popular entertainer Eddie Cantor as a spoof on The March of Time series of newsreels.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe thought was that the donation of a single dime by everyone in the country could make the research possible to relieve the suffering of millions. Originally created to assist those with infantile paralysis (or poliomyelitis) it was later expanded to include all childhood illness once the Salk Vaccine had eradicated polio after 1955.

FDR contracted what was thought to be polio as an adult in 1921, although recent evidence suggests that diagnosis may have been mistaken; for his efforts, FDR's portrait was put on the American dime following his death in April 1946.
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